Gunner and AC Op Julie Marcotte participated in the Invictus Games Toronto 2017.


What memory from your Games stands out for you?

The first one comes up is my mom crying when I won my medal at the 2017 Games in Toronto. My mom passed away five years ago. She said, “What if you don’t win? You’ll be so disappointed” and I said, “That’s not going to happen.” I got the gold medal in recumbent bike, and then when she found out it was Prince Harry giving my medal to me… There’s nothing you can do after Prince Harry gives you a medal. It’s like, OK, I can go home.

What does Invictus mean to you? 

It means change, possibility, teamwork and empathy – a lot of empathy. I call it the Invictus feeling. Here’s an example: I do sports photography for Parasport Québec and I was photographing a team of kids playing basketball. I noticed that their coach was also cheering the other team when they got a point. I saw his plaid shirt with the True Patriot Love logo on the sleeve and asked him if he was at the Games and it turned out he had been a co-captain! There’s not a lot of military members in wheelchair basketball in Québec – that was an incredible coincidence.

What advice would you give Team Canada 2025? 

Take it all in and enjoy the ride. Don’t focus only on the sports. There’s so much other stuff going on and maybe you’ll spark on something. When I saw our photographer Linden working at the Games that inspired me to go back to school for photography. My buddy at the Games ended up going to photography courses, too, and she’ll be working with me.

And when your Games are over, please reach out to people because when you go home it can be hard because there’s no goals anymore, you don’t have anything to hold onto. Camaraderie is a lot different than in the military, so say yes to everything you can.

How does your life look different now than it did before you went to the Invictus Games? 

It’s a lot different. I still do my recumbent bike and I’m going to try a triathlon. Before the Games I found a club for wheelchair basketball near me so I could train. Now I have more friends using wheelchairs than not. Having to find accessible restaurants and clubs so you can include everyone is an eyeopener on somebody else’s reality.

What did you learn about yourself while training and when competing? 

I learned if I put my mind to it, I could do anything. At the Games, the friendships I made with my teammates and other competitors were more important than any medals I could win.